One of the most often asked questions by startup entrepreneurs is “Where can I find a CTO?” Good CTOs are hard to find. Beyond being technically smart, they need to comfortably engage in all aspects of startup challenges. They need to creatively link technical options to customer needs, they need to judge when to patch something together and when to build for scale, they need to provide quality and timeliness amongst uncertain requirements, they need to be able to impress investors, they need to be passionate about the business they are investing their sought after skills into.
As an accelerator and incubator, operated by the University of Queensland, ilab is uniquely placed to help start the growth of these future CTO’s by linking smart young technologists with exciting new startups.
ilab’s Tech Intern program removes a startup’s recruitment burden by reaching out, interviewing and shortlisting a group of high calibre tech interns. Our startup founders are able to quickly meet and select ready made interns to work on their startups. ilab is able to provide the employment mechanism as well, meaning new startups do not need to establish employment agreements etc. As importantly, ilab’s environment allows these interns access to more experienced tech founders who are able to give them guidance on technical design and troubleshooting.
We asked some of the tech interns here over the Christmas 15/16 period about their background, why they are interested in startups and what they are getting out of their ilab startup experiences.
Bodhi Connolly- Agalytics
I’m currently studying Mechatronic Engineering, and applied to the Tech Intern Program to get some practical engineering experience while simultaneously helping to develop a real business. Plus, a chance to get involved in the local startup scene.
Working at ilab has been a very rewarding experience. I’ve strengthened my technical skills and learnt a lot about business development and the lean startup methodology through participation as part of Agalytics in ilab’s Germinate accelerator. The most valuable learning experience has been working with the mentors that visit ilab each week. These mentors have tremendous amounts of industry experience and provide priceless feedback on our ideas.
Tony Wang – Airsponge
I’m studying software engineering at UQ, currently in my 3rd year. It was suggested I apply to ilab by a friend of mine in the software space. I was particularly interested because of it is a tech position and most importantly, because ilab is an established accelerator in the startup space, which I have been involved in for a little over a year.
The overall experience has been great. I’ve been consuming knowledge at a much more rapid rate as well as developing my skills in tech, networking and customer development. The best experience has been tech development. Participating in a SaaS startup gives me a great opportunity to dive into the software development from scratch, learning all aspects of a real-world software development process.
Llew Stephens – Vetsuite Technologies
I am studying engineering at UQ, majoring in software engineering. The Tech Intern program was recommended by a previous participant in the program, and I thought it would be a valuable learning experience.
My overall experience has been good. I have found the various presentations by mentors to be the most insightful and informative learning experience. A majority of my time is spent on development which I enjoy the most. It has been very interesting seeing how the teams progress each week including their individual challenges and achievements.
Cameron Aavik: Redback Technologies
I am about to start studying my second year of Software Engineering. I knew someone who was in the Tech Intern Program the year before and he recommended me to go into it. I have enjoyed programming for many years, and enjoy the technical side of programming where I solve architectural problems, construct algorithms, and seeing it all work out in the end.
It has been a very positive experience and I have learnt many things which have changed the way I take on writing software. The people I work with are all great people, easy to get along with, and hard workers when it comes to solving problems. I have learnt a lot about using the development tools that companies use and will use these for any personal projects going forward. I have also learnt the value of properly testing software and making decisions which affects the time it will take to go through with the development process.
Joey Ray: Redback Technologies
I am currently studying a Bachelor of IT at UQ as a second qualification after I decided to change career direction. I wanted a job where my contribution mattered more than increasing some big company’s bottom line. I thought that in a startup I’d have the opportunity to build a system, rather than simply improve one that already exists.
I’ve had a great experience working with software and hardware veterans on a solar energy system. I’m able to ask them for advice when I need it, and I also feel like a core member of their team. I felt that they assigned me some critical though fair tasks. In the short time that I’ve been here I was able to write software that people will be using for the next 5-10 years when they buy our system. I can also safely say that I’ve learned more on the job about the practicalities of programming in a few months than a classroom could give me in a year.
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- April 11, 2019Read more
This is the story of how two entrepreneurs tested their idea on the market through Startup Academy. Julian Stein (Fiffy Solutions) and Nathaniel Simpson (Beome) have several things in common. Not only did they both start careers as employees in the energy industry, they have now successfully transitioned into the world of startups.
- March 5, 2019Read more
It was only last week when entrepreneur in residence Ran Heimann reminded us that we were now a third of the way through the UQ ilab Germinate PLUS program and I (Nathaniel Simpson – founder of Beome) wanted to share the key insight from what we have learnt so far. That is, place importance on 2 critical factors, The founder(s)
- February 1, 2019Read more
At ilab, we do have the chance of being surrounded by an amazing ecosystem of phenomenal individuals and companies. From startups to scaleups and even corporations. But primarily, we work with students and our goal is to empower them and help them create their own personal and professional path. In that regard, hands-on experience represents a crucial feature. A number
- January 7, 2019Read more
Monday morning, 9.00 am, while the quiet campus at The University of Queensland (UQ), St Lucia, shows that holidays are still on the agenda for students, ilab is beaming with the excitement of the staff and startups alike. The founders of the 12 startups selected to take part in the new UQ ilab Germinate PLUS accelerator program are on site, bright
- December 21, 2018Read more
Christmas came early for some, in the form of a spot in our upcoming startup accelerator program. Twelve teams of aspiring entrepreneurs are one step closer to achieving their goal of startup success after being selected for The University of Queensland’s ilab Germinate Plus accelerator program. The teams will have access to a global network of professionals, as well as one-on-one